Headmaster Grady Vigneau Announces His Departure from Bridgton Academy

September 21, 2016

Contact: Nick LeBel, Director of Marketing and Communications
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September 12, 2016 — After nine years of leading Bridgton Academy, Headmaster Graydon E. Vigneau, Jr., has announced that he will retire from Bridgton Academy in June of 2017.

“It is with a bittersweet smile that the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees has accepted the resignation of Headmaster Grady Vigneau effective June 30th, 2017,” stated Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees President
Kevin Jones ’81. On September 12th, Grady Vigneau, the 47th Headmaster of Bridgton Academy, announced to the Academy staff he would be stepping down from his position in June of 2017.

“As a trustee at the Academy for the past nine years, I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Mr. Vigneau and have witnessed a myriad of improvements to all facets of the operation during his tenure,” Jones continued. “Bridgton Academy is a better place today thanks to Mr. Vigneau’s tireless efforts. Finding a replacement for Mr. Vigneau will be a daunting task. All of us in the Bridgton Academy community want to thank Headmaster Vigneau for all that he has done and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

During his nine-year tenure, Vigneau has overseen an Academy that has had to weather the storm of economic crisis in the United States, as well as the changing shape of postgraduate education, of which Bridgton Academy has a unique, historical place. Vigneau steered the school through a variety of storms faced by the country’s changing economic seas, emerging with the Academy as a viable, strong entity poised to meet the future head-on. During Vigneau’s nine-year tenure as headmaster (the third-longest Head of School tenure in Bridgton Academy history), the Brattleboro, VT native brought the campus into sharp focus with unprecedented improvements – including leading a Capital Campaign to completely overhaul the campus athletic fields. Nearly $7 million in campus improvements occurred under Vigneau’s watch, touching almost every building on the 55-acre campus. These enhancements included the construction of the Wolverine Den Student Union, the complete renovation of the Dr. Cyrus T. Hamlin STEM Center, and an overall increase to the campus footprint with new real estate acquisition.

“Grady Vigneau has made a lasting mark on Bridgton Academy – both in terms of the physical campus and improvements he has spearheaded, but also in helping guide the school through a challenging time in education,” said Assistant Head of School, Sven Cole. “It has been a pleasure to work alongside Grady for the past nine years, and we are all excited for he and Merry as they embark on their next adventure. We are also excited for the institution as we will be welcoming our 48th Headmaster in the next year.”

Having accepted Vigneau’s resignation, Jones said that the Board of Trustees must now begin its search for the 48th headmaster of Bridgton Academy. To that end, the board has hired a national search firm to guide it through the search process. In addition, a search committee comprised of trustees, and an advisory committee of faculty and staff have been appointed to work with the firm in seeking a leader of excellence who will continue the growth and development of Bridgton Academy.

“Grady will be dearly missed by students, alumni, and parents alike,” stated Jessica Priola, Bridgton Academy Director of Institutional Advancement. “Grady was a consummate supporter of the young men of Bridgton, and always made time to get to know and believe in each and every one of our young men. Mr. Vigneau was never shy about ‘dreaming big’ and his big dreams helped all of us to work to our best ability to move the Academy forward with great strides. We wish Grady the best of luck with his next endeavors!”

Prior to coming to Bridgton Academy in 2008, Vigneau had a long, distinguished career as an entrepreneur and financial analyst. A native of Brattleboro, VT, Vigneau attended and played football at the University of New Hampshire, and was named an All American in 1977. After the University of New Hampshire, Vigneau received his MBA from Columbia University. He and his wife, Merry, moved to Stowe, Vermont, where they purchased and operated (and continue to operate) the Round Hearth at Stowe, one of the ski industry’s last remaining ski dorms, and a true gem in Eastern skiing.

“Serving as Bridgton Academy’s Headmaster since 2008 has been an absolute honor,” stated Vigneau. “I have worked with the best colleagues that one could imagine, and have served an elegantly simple, yet absolutely critical mission. I have been embraced by the entire Bridgton community and extended family at every stage of my tenure, a welcome that speaks to the wonderful respect our constituents have for this Academy and its hopes and dreams.  I am proud to say that Bridgton Academy is poised for a sustainable, fantastic future.”

After nine years at the Academy, replete with a legacy of improvements and investment, Mr. Vigneau will now move on to explore future positions within a variety of industries, including the private school realm. Bridgton Academy thanks Headmaster Vigneau, his wife, Merry, and children Grady, Christopher, Allison, and Kimberly, for their service and belief in Bridgton Academy.